The Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation says Colorado improved from 22nd in last year's report on child poverty to 20th in the current report (via the Colorado Springs Gazette ). Yet, the rate of kids in Colorado who live in poverty increased by 50 percent between 2000 and 2008, compared with a six percent increase nationwide, writes The Denver Post . "What struck us most about this report is the percent of children living in poverty in Colorado has risen so dramatically, compared to the nation," says Lisa Piscopo, KidsCount director for the Colorado Children's Campaign. The reason is "a rise in cost of living without a comparable rise in wages, the number of dropouts, changing demographics, and an inability on Colorado's part to recover from the recession of 2001." Colorado still isn't as bad off as the nation as a whole. About 179,409 of the state's children---approximately 15 percent---lived in poverty in 2008, up from 104,214---or 10 percent---in 2000. The national rate is 18 percent, according to the report, which may not have fully captured the impacts of the current economic downturn.